Time passes



And some things remain unchanged in their essence. How wonderful it is to talk to people whom you have known for many years, spent time with, no matter how close or distant you were back then. We grow close, grow apart but time and shared experience connects us. We observe, we judge, we formulate questions, opinions and suspicions and over time we see these parts of ourselves reflected back in the easy conversation, the honesty, the warmth. Time heals, it reduces, clarifies, confirms, dismisses and only time knows who we’ll see when we catch ourselves in the mirror or caught, briefly frozen by the eye of a lens. Time although constant, is full of suprises but always fleeting.


Class of ’87 – 25 years on

My how time flies….

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Lessons learnt

I was going to write a post about Tents but somewhat sheepishly I stopped myself realising that would be like suddenly waking up and discovering I’m old. Although, that said, between you and me I know that I am not the only one who gets excited about tents, as borne out by all the excited people wandering round the camping store at Frensham Garden Centre in Surrey yesterday (we were just passing, honest!) in the pouring rain, going in pretty much every single one of the thirty plus tents on display… anyway, I’m not talking about that, it’s behind me (but I may have to go back sometime soon).

More importantly (in the grand scheme of things) is learning lessons from the past and so when I started to read Lloyd Davis’s post about the Time/Image project


and then clicked on the link to watch ‘Picadilly Circus’ directed by Richard Massingham and filmed in 1942/43, I literally lost time as I was sucked into a delightful and beautifully observed film based on a day in and around Picadilly Circus back in the forties.

There are more of these film gems, such as ‘The Answer’ and ‘The Architects’ all digitised as a result of the Time/Image project see here http://film.britishcouncil.org/piccadilly-roundabout somewhat typically of large organisations you glean little of the background to the project from the British Film Councils website but the good news is, that Lloyd is currently offering to bring one (or perhaps two) of these films to your community by way of a ‘pop-up’ cinema –  a cracking idea and a great way to get the conversation going about digitising local archives, setting up a digitally based local history project for future generations ……? Something that could involve all those young people in your community who have the technology and the know-how perhaps?

If you’re interested, or just want to know more about how it could work then you can contact Lloyd here: lloyd.davis@gmail.com or via twitter @LloydDavis


“Lloyd Davis is a popular figure on the London Social Media Scene. Lloyd has been blogging and podcasting since 2004 and with a diverse background that includes theatre, information management and public service he has acquired a unique, in-depth and practical understanding of how to use media and social networks on the web to build and sustain rich relationships online and off.”


Mamma Mia !

I’ve had a change of heart. About Mamma Mia the movie that is. It was on the TV last year and I found it toe curlingly awful, I made the youngest who was enthralled, turn over to another channel. Clever young thing that she is, she recorded the rest and today finally remembered she had done so. I was suprised to discover the second half has some integrity! Very kindly, a friend treated me to comps for the show back in (muffles mouth with hands – spits out 2002/03).http://www.mamma-mia.com/london.asp It had rave reviews but it wasn’t for me, although I avoided saying so publicly after such a lovely thought and great seats. It felt wrong somehow – I couldn’t quite get how but I think the film nails it.

The story behind Mamma Mia! the Movie…well lets face it, its a concept, a brand really – doesnt belong to musical theatre pro’s it belongs to the common man and woman ergo actors who can dance a bit, put a song across without turning a crisis into a drama… which is why Pierce Brosnans characterisation worked so well for me – he was lambasted across a roasting spit for taking it on but he was so right! It’s a horribly romantic piece but what gives the audience hope is that the likes of Mr B. and Julie Walters make it real, tangible – it could be me, you, the next door neighbour and all those dour Greeks breaking out into joyful song and dance, jumping off the jetty. and so we, the doubting cynical audience think, good things can happen to the untrained voice, the untoned body, lacking in muscular definition. That’s not to say there isn’t still a lot of showbiz gloss and sparkle – it’s just all inherently earthy but with bells on. Ultimately it’s great music and a bit of fun and it was either genius to steal such a blockbuster away from the divas and musical dons queueing up for a part, or sheer foolhardy bravura.

I have decided (at this very late stage in the day), that it was very clever – to fill our screens with the beautiful young and the once beautiful middle aged who lay themselves open to ridicule by performing out of their comfort zone. The majority of shots linger on the old, being joyous, re-living the pain of youth, the mistakes of their past, the passion, the highlights, the loves, parties, adventures, embarrassments… oh you know what I’m talking about: stuff of our lives that hangs about and shapes our futures. The scenic back drops are sensational, it cries out to you! ‘Come here, swim with me, dance with me along this rocky cliff towering above the crystal seas, play like gods on this sacred isle, trip goatlike with me along this fairy lit path’. And the oldies laugh lustily at themselves whilst cavorting and crooning and that’s probably what won me over in the end because they laughed with the integrity of the older and wiser – and we laughed with them (mostly) once I’d put my disbelief and horror aside and taken the cushion out of my mouth.

So there you are, I am converted ‘catalytically’. I might even go and see the show again one day although I fancy it might have more impact on me if I travel to Hong Kong, San Francisco, Manila or Australia or some other far flung clime to do so.  http://www.mammamiamusicalticketsonline.com/blog/

Later the same day, I watched the animated version of Fantastic Mr Fox starring the voices of George Clooney and Meryl Streep and directed by Wes Anderson (it’s a Sunday, my family are all ill – what can I say!). It was weird.

Arts Award South West


South West Advisers’ Professional Development Day

Salisbury Playhouse

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

10am – 4pm

Have you booked your place yet? This week is your last chance to do so in order to give us time to organise catering and admin.

You can see details of the event on the South West regional pages of the Arts Award website where there is a link to the booking form or you can use this link here http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SYKFKFV

If you have an interesting case study of either a silver or gold Arts Award that you feel would be beneficial for attenders to hear about please do get in touch.

The regional team would love to see you there and have been working hard to source Arts Award achievers and case studies to help support your work as an adviser plus putting together workshops to help improve your experience and practice as an adviser. Jodie Abrahams, Arts Award schools support officer and Diana Walton will be on hand from the National team to meet and talk with you, and also present will be Alison Dures from Bodmin College, Alison has been running the Arts Award since taking part in the pilot stage back in 03/04.

For Dan, who asked so nicely

Dan doesn’t do twitter or posterous, he’s a facebook man through and through (Oh Dan!) but this is for him really.


posterous links


Day 1. http://www.artsmonkey.com/welsh-christmas-road-movie                          

Day 2. http://www.artsmonkey.com/welsh-christmas-road-movie-day2              

Day 3. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day3         

Day 4. http://www.artsmonkey.com/35239998                                                        

Day 5. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day5        

Day 6. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day6         

Day 7. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day7

Day 8. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day8

Day 9. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day9

Day 10. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day10

Day 11. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day11

Day 12. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day12

Day 13. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day13

Day 14. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day14

Day 15. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day15

Day 16. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day16

Day 17.  http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day17

Day 18/19  http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day18-day-19

Day 20. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day20

Day 21.  http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day21

Day 22. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day22

Day 23. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day23

Day 24. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day23-0

©JBrain, 2011

It’s criminal – Murder in Midsomer ‘Wanted’

If I’m honest I don’t rate Midsomer Murders as the very best well made TV but it fills a hole, as yet unchallenged by anything else. I’ve just read Adam Sweetings review of last nights double feature introducing the new ‘Barnaby’ played by Neil Dudgeon via @theartsdesk and it saddens me a little. MM is a light, bright, fluffy series full of lovely shots of parts of Berkshire and beyond and it takes delightful digs at middle england and the wonderful, if a little infuriating idosyncracies of the wealthy and well heeled. It’s full of stereo-type and wry fantasy but most importantly it’s ‘Made in England’ as the phrase once went and we export it. Our TV programming schedules are full of American imports, we need more popular UK produced ‘light’ drama series not less. Our screens are chock full of gritty city based dramas and surbaban mid-life crisis sink hole TV, for those of us who like our reality suspended by great actors, some humour, character, daft and nutty doings then Midsomer Murders is where it’s at and I think it’s still got legs, although maybe they should ask me to write the plot lines now and again, eh?